Okay…The title of this post may be a little hyperbolic, but let’s call a spade a spade: The 2013 Emmy nominations (which were announced yesterday) weren’t exactly exciting. In fact, they left many (myself included) disappointed. I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up for the majority of my favorite shows and actors getting nominations, but that should be part of the fun of nomination day. But I guess “fun” and “nomination day” are two words that only go together for the Critics’ Choice Television Awards.
Over at Media Through a Mom’s Eyes, you’ll find some great reactions and analysis of the Emmy nominees, especially in the dramatic categories. Here, I just want to point out five reasons I’m convinced the Emmys are out-of-touch with what’s actually going on in the world of television.
1. I don’t love you, and I don’t like you. Once again, Parks and Recreation was left out of the running for Best Comedy, with only Amy Poehler securing a nomination in a category which I’m sure she’ll be overlooked in once again. I’ve grown sadly jaded about Parks and Rec’s chances of ever getting nominated again, but I really thought they stood a chance this season. While it wasn’t the strongest season overall, it had two of its most compelling episodes ever with “Halloween Surprise” and “Ben and Leslie.” To see such a heartfelt, well-acted, genuinely funny television show go without any recognition (beyond its fabulous leading lady) continues to break my heart and make me wonder what exactly voters are looking for. If you don’t love Parks and Rec, I don’t think you’re the kind of person I want to know—or the kind of awards show I want to watch.
2. No love for New Girl. I wasn’t expecting New Girl to be nominated for Best Comedy, but to see the entire cast left out of the nominations was something I wasn’t prepared for. I definitely thought Max Greenfield was a shoo-in again this season, and I think Zooey Deschanel deserved some recognition for the nuanced and hilarious work she did with some great storylines. But the biggest shock to me was the snub of Jake Johnson. He was one of the best actors in any genre of television this season, and a lot of critics seem to agree with that statement. What he did with the incredible character arc Nick Miller got this season was nothing short of extraordinary. Johnson was one of the best things about television as a whole this season, and I cannot comprehend how the voters were unable to see that.
3. She plays seven roles and gets zero nominations. I don’t even watch Orphan Black (and I know I should!), but even I know the biggest snub of this year’s Emmy nominations was Tatiana Maslany. The woman played seven complex roles this season and apparently did it all with ease. If that’s not impressive enough to warrant an Emmy nomination, then I’m not sure what is. I know the show is a BBC program and is considered sci-fi, but those things shouldn’t matter when it comes to a performance as respected and recognized throughout the industry as this one. I may be frustrated with a lot of this year’s snubs, but this is the one that left me shaking my head the most.
4. The wrong choices from the right shows. In some cases, I was left to wonder if the voters picked the more famous or more respected cast members from certain shows instead of the best ones. For example, I adore Connie Britton, but it was obvious to me that Hayden Panettiere is the better half of their rivalry on Nashville. She had the most compelling storylines and the meatiest scenes to cut her teeth on, and I thought she did a fantastic job playing all of the facets to her very damaged character.
On Game of Thrones (which I was thrilled to see nominated for so many awards), I was happy to see Emilia Clarke’s name among the nominees for Best Supporting Actress, but Michelle Fairley’s name should have been there as well. Yes, the “Dracarys!” scene was incredible, but the most memorable and powerful moment of the season was the Red Wedding—and that was all because of Fairley. If Clarke could get nominated for that one moment, then the same should have happened for Fairley and that chilling final image of Catelyn Stark. In addition, voters seemed to stick with what they knew in terms of the male performances on Game of Thrones. Obviously Peter Dinklage is a great Tyrion Lannister, but he wasn’t given much to do this season. On the other hand, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau spent this season on an emotional and physical journey that had audiences hanging on his every word and changing their minds about Jaime Lannister with every look he gave and every action of his onscreen. The fact that this man made the famous “bath scene” ring painfully true for even the most skeptical viewers speaks to how much he deserved a nomination.
5. Same old, same old. I feel like I could have predicted these exact nominations before they were announced—and not because I feel like the nominees were necessarily the best in their category. Emmy voters like to nominate (and give the awards to) people they’ve previously honored or at least nominated. There’s very little turnover or new blood each year, and that’s disappointing. I get frustrated when actors who play characters who are essentially the same year in and year out get recognized again and again. We know they’re great, but maybe it’s time for someone else to have a turn. These awards—more than any other—feel like an exclusive club where you have to already be a member to get an invite to the party. And that makes the whole thing a lot less fun for those of us playing along at home.